All About the Anti-Gravity Treadmill

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Published: 09th November 2012
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As if regular running is not physically taxing on the body enough, there is a new almost outlandish sounding device that is gaining popularity in athletic training centers, high-end fitness clubs, and even nursing facilities for seniors. Regular running exerts a force equal to 2 to 3 times the body weight of the runner, and commonly results in injury. It also creates strain and causes heart pain for some. Trying to stay healthy by exercising is a health risk in itself for many. Naturally, when there is a problem, following will be a solution. The new fix for pain management during and after running is here.

At first glance, anti-gravity treadmills seem like another elite piece of athletic equipment reserved for world-class athletes to strut their stuff on. And although they are indeed most commonly used by professional athletes, they are popping up in fitness facilities, rehabilitation clinics, and physical therapy centers all over the country. Similarly to running in water, the added air pressure boosts leg speed and increases volume without overstressing the body.

The treadmill is believed to reduce injuries by allowing runners to defy gravity. Basically, the air reduces the personís body weight to as little as 20% and up to their full weight in 1% increments. The body feels less heavy and can perform faster. The controlled pressure gently lifts the runner as to avoid a shocking accelerated thrust into the air. The actual lifting force is the air. It begins after regular pacing on the treadmill has started to maintain the feel of normal running.

This new gym feat is known as a rehabilitation device because its adjustable weight-bearing has been used primarily for lower extremity injuries as post athletic training. No longer are these just for wounded athletes. Professional teams are still the largest consumer of them right now; however, military facilities and high performance centers are including the high end equipment to help its clients promote physical endurance while reducing energy.

Fun Fact

Originally, the contemporary machinery had nothing to do with chronic pain management. It was designed in 1992 to prepare NASA astronauts for walking and maneuvering in outer space. Dr. Robert Whalen and Alan Hargens designed it at the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. The original intent was to prevent bone loss and muscle deterioration for astronauts spending longer periods defying gravity in outer space. The original machines sucked air out while the newer versions pump air in.

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